LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Southwest Airlines will lay off 384 employees based out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
The airline submitted a letter to Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation alerting the agency it will begin a massive layoff starting on March 15 or within 14 days after that. It is the busiest carrier serving McCarran.
The letter states:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated domestic air travel and tourism. As a result, Southwest Airlines has lost billions of dollars in revenues since the pandemic began.”
Julie Weber, Southwest Airlines, chief vp and chief people officer
The layoffs will include Customer Service Agents, Ramp, Operations, Provisioning and Freight Agents. Pilots and Flight attendants will be furloughed starting April, 1, 2021. According to the letter, the airline said it can’t predict how long the furlough will last but it could be more than six months.
The airline warned earlier this month that 7,000 Southwest employees across the nation could face layoffs unless labor unions accepted concessions. The letter states the airline has not been able to make meaningful progress.
The carrier received money through the federal CARES Act which allowed it to avoid layoffs and pay cuts through Sept. 30, 2020 and also implemented a Voluntary Separation Program and an Extended Emergency Time Off Program to reduce staff costs.
The Dallas-based carrier is the nation’s fourth-biggest airline and, until now, boasted that it had never laid off workers in its history dating back more than 50 years.